Never in a million years did I imagine that I would like PIRANHA. The review for this film is an easy one basically because it never once takes itself seriously. What separates PIRANHA from something like SHARKTOPUS is “acting” and a bigger budget. I was surprised how much I loved it. It was dumb and gory and had an amount of nudity that rivaled softcore porn. Just remember this if you decide to watch, it’s like a joke that everyone is in on.
Now PIRANHA is not intended for children, although I’m sure teenage boys have pirated the crap out of it. From the very first scene you know where this film is going. Richard Dreyfuss is boating alone in the middle of a lake—Danger Will Robinson! After the killer opening scene, the story truly begins. We are first introduced to Jake (Steven R. McQueen) who is the alternative, indie kid with the Justin Bieber haircut. The entire time he reminded me of a pale Taylor Lautner (it can never be unseen). Jake is immediately ridiculed by his good friend Kelly’s (Jessica Szohr) jocky boyfriend right in front of her face. Drenched in a drink that was thrown at him by said boyfriend, Jake goes to pick up his little sister. Upon meeting her, he also meets the well-endowed Danni (Kelly Brook) who flirts with Jake. Obviously Jake is loving it because he’s awkward hormone filled male. During this encounter, Jake also finds out that Danni is a “Wild Wild Wild girl” through her director Derrick (Jerry O’Connell), who is made to be just like Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis. Derrick needs a Lake Victoria townie like Jake to help him location scout. Although he has to babysit his siblings, he reluctantly agrees to take the job. I mean, why wouldn’t he?
While all this is going on, there is still danger a foot. Sheriff Julie Forester (also Jake’s mom) has two big problems on her hands—a ton of Spring Breakers and a killer fish outbreak. But wait! These fish aren’t any ordinary killer fish, they are an extinct breed of killer piranha. All is revealed when local expert Mr. Goodman (Christopher Lloyd) finds a fossilized version of the mutant piranha. Meanwhile, Jake has paid his siblings $60 to stay at home. The kids don’t stay; they head off to a remote island and surprise! Their boat drifts off. Jake is too busy watching the antics of Danni and the other wild girl on Derrick’s rented boat. Quickly the situation gets dangerous on both sides of the lake and the piranhas decide to attack at full force.
Usually this is the part where I go into the acting. However, there’s not much acting here. I mean this in the best possible way. Sometimes the acting teeters on borderline seriousness then immediately goes back to less than mediocre. But this isn’t a movie where acting is important; in fact it’s probably the least important thing. I know, shocker! You will love everyone involved in the film, even a small cameo from Eli Roth. Although I must say that Adam Scott and Christopher Lloyd steal the show. O’Connell is a gimme, he’s awesome in everything ever.
What’s great about this movie is the fact that it reminds you of other terribly awesome movies, especially those of the 80’s. The effects are awful but it doesn’t matter. It’s so bad it’s good. As a fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000, movies like this usually draw me in. I spent my entire time wondering whether or not it would make a great Rifftrax. The bottom line is that it’s a good time. It pokes fun at it’s self and is one of the best worst movies ever.
Video (2.40:1 Widescreen): The transfer is quite nice. The colors really pop as they were intended to. It’s also obvious when certain parts are supposed to be in 3D (this Blu-Ray isn’t). Very crystal clear quality on this one.
Audio(5.1 DTS-HD): The audio here will make your ears explode if you let it. During the action it seems a bit overwhelming but if you have a good surround sound system it’s a delight. There are a couple of times the audio is a little low during the dialogue. Other than that, it’s great.
Filmmakers Commentary: This commentary includes helmer Alexandre Aja, producer Gregory Levasseur, and producer Alix Taylor. There is some great stuff here! Usually I don’t add an exclamation point to any of my sentences but it’s necessary here. Sadly, I cannot say some of the things that they say on here because they are naughty. But this is the most entertaining commentary I’ve ever heard.
Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary (7:43): (Pet Emporium, Cheerleaders, Sand Island Ghost Train, The Kiss, Cliff Diver, and Andrew’s Death) Each scene also comes with optional commentary from Aja. These deleted choices are at times enjoyable but sub-par. You’ll like a couple of scenes, for example Andrew’s extended death scene.
Don’t Scream, Just Swim-10 Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes (2:09:00): This one featurette is longer than the actual movie (80 mins)! Don’t worry though, it is definitely worth the time. You get to see how much thought and creativity went into making this film. It feels like a passion project for Aja and even if he doesn’t say it, it may as well be. You get the standard behind-the-scenes experience here (effects, make-up, etc), except it’s a film about killer mutant piranhas so it’s a million times better than most.
Deleted Storyboard Sequences (11:12): Very cool feature that shows two different scenes through storyboard. You get to hear some different actor voices and see the process bare bones.
TV Spots for JUSTIFIED and PIRAHNA